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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Is the Law Written in Your Heart?

Many people profess to be Christians while disregarding God's law. They believe that under the New Covenant the Law has been done away with; that Christ has abolished the Law, and it is irrelevant to our lives. To these people obedience is an optional thing, it is up to us if we obey or not.

The Apostle Paul however, states that instead of making the law void through faith, we establish it (Romans 3:31). The problem with us is our sinful rebellious nature. Apart from Christ, we do not want to submit to God's law in obedience to Him. The answer to this is found in the New Covenant.

The law of God reveals God's standard of righteousness to us. It shows us how God expects us to live, but it does not enable us to live according to its standards. We read that, 

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
(Romans 8:3-4 NASB)

The problem is not the Law of God, but as I stated above, it lies within us. We read in Hebrews, that this is why the New Covenant was necessary.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, "Behold, days are coming, says the LORD, when I will effect a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the LORD.
(Heb 8:8-9 NASB)

The fault was found in the people. They were the ones who disregarded the Law of God, and failed to continue in the covenant God had made with them. We see a perfect picture of what God desires in the Psalms. He desires us to delight in His statutes (Psalm 119:16), to long after His commands (Psalm 119:20), and to willingly walk in obedience (Psalm 119: 34-35). We read in this last verse that the Psalmist desired God to make him walk in the way of His commandments. He understood his weakness and failures, and saw the need for a heart change.

God, seeing this need as well, foretells of a coming day when this would be accomplished in His people,

"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
(Ezekiel 36:25-27 NASB)

"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel in those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
(Jeremiah 31:33)

This last verse is repeated in Hebrews 8:10, and Hebrews 10:15-17. This is the New Covenant. God's standard was not changed. He still desires us to live in obedience to His commands. Holiness of heart and life is not an option, for we read that without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Heb 12:14). A vital characteristic found in those redeemed under the New Covenant is that of the law of God written upon the heart. These individuals have a love for God's law. Instead of disregarding it as unimportant, or as a non essential, they will go to great lengths to obey Jesus Christ at any and all cost. The difference is found in the change of heart that took place when they experienced the new birth. 

Are you like so many who call themselves Christians, but have no real desire to follow Christ in the the daily choices they make? Does the law of God seem unimportant to you, is it something that seems like a good idea, but does not matter if it is obeyed or not? If so, I would question the validity of your profession by the above quoted verses dealing with the New Covenant. Either God has performed a work in your heart, or He has not. The New Covenant provides what the law could not; the willingness and power to obey God, and live in a manner that pleases Him. God is not only willing to forgive our sin, but He also provides us the means to escape its grip, and live in victory over its power, if we are willing to give it up for Him.

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